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Crafting Effective Solutions to Gun Violence: Problem Solving Seminar

4th term
Health Policy and Management
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Asynchronous Online with Some Synchronous Online
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructors:
Daniel Webster

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses.


This course addresses one of the most important contributors to pre-mature mortality and to racial disparities in longevity among men. Gun violence also has enormous deleterious impacts on mental health and social advancement. Gun violence is a complex problem that requires deep understanding both of gun violence, but also of potential

policy levers, agencies and organizations who are responsible for or positioned to prevent gun violence, and unique opportunities for stakeholder collaboration.

Provides a foundation of data, theory and perspectives on understanding gun violence within the United States. Students apply common public health methods for assessing risk and protective factors for multiple forms of gun violence at many levels (individual, family, community), assessing available evidence on prevention options, and determining how to enhance population-level success. Provides an understanding of the legal, political, and institutional constraints and opportunities for enacting policies to curb gun violence. Opportunities to develop plans to prevent gun violence with examples dealing with urban gun violence, domestic violence, and situations in which someone is threatening to commit an act of gun violence (e.g., school or workplace shooting) and develop creative public health alternatives to current approaches to gun violence that promote equity and justice as well as safety will be available.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Explain why gun violence is a public health issue and how it varies by race/ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status, and population density and identify why these disparities exist using case study examples from urban U.S. communities
  2. Identify the complex set of factors that influence risk of involvement in gun violence, including social determinants and biological, behavioral, policy, environmental, and systems-level factors
  3. Evaluate the risk of gun violence across various settings and policy landscapes using scientific data to determine appropriate strategies and select effective solutions that address structural inequities and prevent system siloes
  4. Critique existing and proposed interventions to reduce and prevent gun violence to distinguish between popular strategies less likely to work from unpopular strategies yielding a stronger evidence base for effectiveness
  5. Construct systems-level intervention plans for specific settings and populations using a public health approach that integrate knowledge of cultural traditions and values, community concerns, scientific information, legal and regulatory approaches, ethical frameworks and varied stakeholder interests while developing recommendations to shape policies and programs
  6. Develop and communicate strategies that propose human, fiscal, and other resources to reduce gun violence, address underlying system inequities, and dismantle institutional racism by facilitating shared decision making through negotiation and consensus-building methods among diverse stakeholders including researchers, health practitioners, community leaders, teachers, responsible gun owner networks, youth, advocacy organizations, and other partners
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 20% Participation
  • 80% Assignments

Enrollment Restriction:

Undergraduates not permitted in this course

Instructor Consent:

No consent required